Ray Tonkin award
Our congratulations go to Friends of Boroondara (Kew) Cemetery member Elaine Race who has been awarded the Ray Tonkin award by the Heritage Council of Victoria. Elaine spent more than three years mapping the entire Kew cemetery, carefully checking records and spending months walking around every inch of the cemetery. Heritage Council Chair Stuart MacIntyre presented the Award to Elaine in the rose garden at the cemetery on a sunny day in early October 2019.
We were happy to welcome local residents to a convivial community meeting held at the cemetery on Tuesday 22 October 2019 as one of our 160th anniversary events. Our Chair Judith Voce reported on current activities at the cemetery including the repair work on the walls, the restoration of the gatehouse, the cemetery's horticulture, plans to restore the Springthorpe memorial and more. A transcript of the report is attached here.
Unused graves in double plotsThe cemetery has reviewed all unused graves in the cemetery and published the following advertisement in the Progress Leader of 1 October 2019. Please contact the cemetery office if you are, or know of, the owner of any of these graves.
Kew Cemetery Brick Wall Rectification Project commencing July 2019:
What’s happening?You may have noticed that we have begun construction works on the perimeter brick wall around the cemetery. These works will involve several different construction methods including complete reconstruction of sections, crack and capping repair, and repointing of mortar.
Why we’re doing it:
The brick wall was constructed in 1896, which makes it over 120 years old! Given its age it does require some maintenance from time to time. We have sought expert advice from structural engineers and heritage architects and are taking this opportunity to upgrade some of the old construction techniques to a modern-day equivalent.
How we are doing it:
Where we are rebuilding sections of the wall, we will reuse the existing bricks; each one meticulously cleaned and prepared to be re-laid. Whilst externally the wall will look the same, we will be upgrading the internal working of the wall which will ensure its structural integrity far into the future. Given its significance in Kew’s history, it is no surprise that the wall is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. As such, we are taking extra care to repair and restore the wall with the respect that it deserves.
The wall is 1714m long and consists of 551 panels in both full brick construction and iron palisades. This means that it took over 600,000 bricks to build! A clever way to boost employment during the 1890s depression, don’t you think?
If you have any questions about this project, feel free to drop into the Administration office to have a chat with our friendly staff!
CCAV 2018 Innovation prizeBoroondara General Cemetery was awarded the Innovation Prize at the August 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Cemeteries & Crematoria Association of Victoria for its joint project with the Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre for restoration of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd memorial garden at the cemetery. We congratulate our gardener Rachel Stephenson, and the Kew Neighbourhood Learning Centre and its volunteers for their vision and their enthusiastic contributions in bringing more colour and sustainability to our cemetery gardens. The cemetery was also nominated for an award for its successful ongoing working bee project.
During some extremes of weather in late January 2018, the Springthorpe memorial sustained some damage, due to fast and extreme temperature changes having an adverse impact on the marble.
The Boroondara Cemetery Trust’s primary responsibility, under the Act which governs the operations of cemeteries, is to see to the perpetual maintenance of the entire cemetery, so it is unable to expend its own funds on the repair or maintenance of substantial private memorials such as the Springthorpe memorial. The Trust is however actively investigating the condition of the memorial, seeking an expert review of its condition, and options for restoration of the memorial in the event that external funding can be obtained. The Trust has approached a number of suitably qualified parties in this matter, and has engaged with Heritage Victoria regarding this important memorial.
The trust would like to be in contact with descendants of Dr J.W. Springthorpe who erected the memorial in memory of his late wife Annie. Descendants or heirs of Dr Springthorpe are invited to contact our manager Lea Ram on (03) 9853 7028.
Tenured memorial garden positionsThe Trust Members of Boroondara General Cemetery advise that various 12 year tenured memorial garden positions are currently out of tenure. The Trust takes this opportunity to remind anyone who has a memorial garden position in this cemetery and who has changed their address, to please advise the Cemetery office, on (03) 9853 7025.